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Cracow

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Market Square

Wawel Castle by night

Historic synagogue in Kazimierz district

Inner court of Wawel Castle

Inside Cloth Hall on Market Square

Historic Salt Mines in Wieliczka

Krakow is one of the country´s oldest cities, a former capital and a seat of Polish Kings. It lies in the valley in the south of Poland upon the banks of the Vistula River and nearby the Tatra Mountains. Thanks to its convenient location it is a good base to visit southern cities of Zakopane or Wroclaw.

Krakow is a city wrapped in history. For centuries it has been drawing great scholars and artists from all over the world. It is their talents and imagination that created a mesmerizing city full of unique historical relics, reflecting the most important trends in the European culture. The city was also known as the Athens of the North or the second Rome.

The city centre boasts beautiful townhouses, rich churches, charming squares and parks with statues. One day is definitely not enough to experience the emotions the place can evoke. Krakow´s unique atmosphere has inspired many international artists and writers. Visitors fall in love with the place and when they leave, they always return another day. A trip to Krakow is a trip back in time. In some of the windy, cobble-stoned streets of the Old Town the time seems to have stopped (for example Kanonicza Street). No wonder it is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

Top attractions:


Main Market Square

The Main Square (Rynek Główny) is the largest medieval urban centre (with 200-metre-long sides) in Europe. It is the focal point of cultural and social life in the city. It stages regular events like concerts and fairs, it is as a meeting place for hundreds of tourists and locals.

Overlooking the square from the east is St. Mary´s Church. Every hour, the hejnał (bugle call) is played from the higher tower to commemorate the Tatar raids on the city during 13th century. The Main Square is also the place where visitors can witness some of the local traditions characteristic of Krakow only, including the passage of the Lajkonik - the Hobby Horse of Krakow (in June), the Enthronement of the Fowler King, and the December competition for the most beautiful Krakow nativity scene (crib).

The centrally positioned Cloth Hall, a construction from the turn of the 12th century was originally designed for the cloth trade. Today, you can purchase some of the regional handicrafts there or visit one of the greatest multimedia history museums is located in its basement.

The Royal Castle

A few hundred meters from the Main Market Square stands the Royal Castle. It tops the Wawel Hill, from which you can admire the Krakow panorama. The Wawel Cathedral has witnessed royal coronations and funerals. The origins of this magnificent place date back to the year 1000. Visitors should also visit the Renaissance cloister in the castle and the beautiful royal chambers with tapestries by Flemish masters. The Wawel Cathedral is the Polish national Pantheon containing the tombs of many Polish kings, national heros and poets.

Kazimierz

Kazimierz is today one of the city´s most up and coming districts. Formerly an independent settlement and, today, a neighbouring district, easily accessible from Wawel Hill. Kazimierz found its way to the silver screen thanks to Steven Spielberg, who came here to shoot Schindler's List (also known as Schindler's Ark), a multiple-Oscar winner. Dotted with old buildings which give a special ambience to the area, Kazimierz was home to the larger part of the Jewish population of Cracow till 1939. Visitors can admire a number of synagogues and have traditional meals in one of the luxurious Jewish restaurants. Every summer a Festival of Jewish Culture is held there, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Culture

Who desires to know the spirit of Poland, let him seek it in Krakow - wrote Wilhelm Feldman. A visit to Krakow is a real feast to all music, art, literature and poetry lovers. The city is famous for its Old Theatre (Teatr Stary), from where the biggest Polish actors originated. Up today, plays with the finest Polish actors are staged there. There are thirteen theatres in Krakow and a Philharmonic Hall. Krakow Galleries present both classic and modern art as well as avant-garde exhibitions. It is a real cultural hub for the art lovers.

Do not forget to try local culinary delicacies while in Krakow. The Old Town is filled with restaurants and coffee shops, serving local and international cuisine.

Education

Krakow is also a renowned and esteemed academic centre. Every year over 170,000 students attend Krakow´s 25 institutions of higher education. The largest is the 650-year-old Jagiellonian University (est. 1364) that together with its medical school (Collegium Medicum) totals nearly 45,000 students and 6,700 faculty members. Other education institutions include Krakow University of Technology, Krakow University of Economy, AGH University of Technology, arts academies, teacher-training colleges, bachelor-degree vocational colleges, and business schools.

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Comments (3)


Marco
day: 2011-05-24
Rate: 3.0 /5.0
1/5
Security
3/5
City transport
5/5
Jobs
3/5
Restaurants and pubs
What's your favorite place on your city:
Akure
General comment:
I would like to be in poland. Thanks
Patrick
day: 2011-01-22
Rate: 3.5 /5.0
4/5
Security
3/5
City transport
3/5
Jobs
4/5
Restaurants and pubs
What's your favorite place on your city:
Cracow's Historic Centre
General comment:
What a wonderful city to visit. There is so much rich heritage that can be experienced in a easy walk. We visited the Old Jewish Sector, the Crown Royalty sector of Kings, the statue of Pope John II, and the center city and market square. So wonderful, so nice, such warmth. Do not pass up an opportunity to visit Krakow.....
Loulou
day: 2011-01-05
Rate: 3.0 /5.0
3/5
Security
3/5
City transport
3/5
Jobs
3/5
Restaurants and pubs
What's your favorite place on your city:
Not yet.
General comment:
Going to Krakow for a few days on holidays, and would like to know where to go out and see places, don't speak Polish?
Pages:   1

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